The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center, a public-private mental health and addiction clinic in Bel Air, was allocated $2 million in this year’s state budget, according to a news release from State Sen. J.B. Jennings.
“I am keenly aware of the mental health crisis in Maryland,” wrote Jennings, a Republican who represents District 7, in an Aegis op-ed earlier this month.
The center, which opened in 2018, provides resources such as a 24-hour crisis hotline and mobile crisis team, scheduled outpatient services and a walk-in urgent care clinic.
“Without this funding, 24-hour urgent care would not be possible,” Jennings said.
Forty percent of Maryland residents report symptoms of anxiety or depression last year, said Jennings citing data from the Mental Health Association of Maryland. More than 45 percent of Maryland youths between ages 12 and 17 went untreated for anxiety or depression symptoms; and 3,000 Marylanders died last year from drug overdoses and 650 from suicide.
“I continue to be awed at the resilience and strength of residents of Baltimore and Harford counties as well as all over the state,” Jennings wrote. “Over the past few years, the pandemic has drastically changed each and every one of our lives either personally or indirectly.”
Jennifer Redding, executive director for the center and for behavioral health at University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health, said that some of their services are not billable through insurance, making grant money critical for allowing people to continue to afford to be treated.
“If they have the courage to come in through our doors,” Redding said, “we want to be able to take care of them and serve them.”
According to Redding, the Klein Family Harford Crisis Center served about 10,685 people last year. She also noted that just because the term “crisis” is in the center’s name, the center is more a behavioral health hub for the county.
“As soon as someone starts to experience any sort of behavioral health or substance use disorder symptom, that’s the time to come in,” she said. “You don’t have to wait until you’re in a full-fledged crisis.”